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If you want to add your own comment, use our form below. If you want to submit your comments for publication in the print edition, please send to and include your full name and the city/state where you reside. Your complete address and phone number are required (for verification only) and will not be printed.

Have your say:

1: "Canals" by: sgarber

@ 09:20:18 pm on September 8, 2010.

Why is it that the City of Anna Maria hasnt had the canals dredged. Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach and Long Boat have had their canals dredged at least twice in last 10 years. Our canal on Periwinkle is so shallow you cant come and go at low tide.

2: "The N-Word: Utterly Offensive No Matter Who Says It " by: NewsManatee

@ 08:21:45 pm on September 1, 2010.

Last week, Dr. Laura Schlessinger ignited a firestorm on her radio show over the use of the N-word. A woman had called into her show and had said her husband's friends had offended her with the use of the N-word. The woman is Black and her husband is White.

Dr. Laura, in an attempt to bring about an understanding of the situation, she said, used the N-word no less than 11 times in her alleged handling of the matter.

Dr. Laura later apologized and said she was leaving her radio show at the end of the year to pursue what she called her "First Amendment Rights" on the Internet.

Meanwhile, the country's media leaped on the issue, possibly creating more controversy than was necessary.

Sarah Palin has even weighed in on the matter, telling Dr. Laura: "Don't retreat: Reload."

I find both women's comments offensive in every imaginable way.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says this about the N-word: "[The N-word] ranks as perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English. Its use by and among blacks is not always intended or taken as offensive, is otherwise a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry."

Some Black people do use the word liberally in their everyday conversation. However, not all do so. Blacks of economic means usually do not, in my experience.

In the Manatee County Jail, for instance, according to one law enforcement officer, it is heard often, among Black prisoners mostly...rarely is it used by White prisoners.

It can also be heard on the streets by Black people and not White, but it is not heard quite so frequently, according to the same law enforcement officer, who asked not to be identified.

In my experience, at one time I was a resident of an apartment complex in Tucson, Arizona, that was populated by White and Black people. I heard the N-word sprinkled liberally in daily conversation by Black people and never heard it uttered by White people.

In another setting among White "rednecks," I have heard the word used often. But there are usually no Black people around when they say it.

Whenever a Black person hears a White person use the N-word, the hue and cry is raised by the Black person. But that same person will turn around and call his neighbor a N-word. That's supposed to be okay, according to some Black people.

The First Amendment has nothing to do with this issue. It merely says "Congress shall enact no laws" regarding...the right to free speech.

It does NOT say a person has the inalienable right to offend others.

And the N-word is the most offensive word today in the English language. It is even more offensive than the F-word, the M-F word and even the C-word.

The reason for this is that it has survived a time when Black people were thought of as lesser than White people. That is not true today, nor was it ever true. We are ALL created equal. Just because some are less educated in the polite ways of dealing with people conversationally does not give them the right to use the word.

Look, the N-word comes from a Middle French derivation of negre, meaning black. That's all it is supposed to mean. But when Black people use it, they're just cramping their own people by reminding them of the earlier U.S. use of the word for a slave, which is disgusting. And when anyone else uses it, they are reminding Black people of the same thing, which is also disgusting.

Black, White, Red or Yellow folks: The N-word is utterly offensive, no matter who says it.

But let's not go psychotic over a word. That's just plain nuts.

It could start another civil war...and damn near did last week.

That's in my opinion.

Michael C. Quinn

3: "Water Quality" by: kkjr49

@ 04:35:33 pm on August 31, 2010.

So, what is the cause of the polluted Bay water? Sewer runoff, fertilizer and pesticides, industrial waste?

4: "Stolen Boat" by: edrut

@ 04:30:37 pm on August 31, 2010.

Own a million dollar boat with no insurance, Duh, also, pay someone to cut your grass, I'd be willing to housesit, next time you go on vacation.

5: "Illegal beach activity?" by: cwiseman5

@ 09:57:27 am on August 24, 2010.

Legal Fishing or Shady Research?
As a volunteer for AMITW, I was monitoring turtle nests late one evening when I noticed a huge spotlight being used on the beach. It turned out to be an alleged ‘research scientist’ who was catching various species of fish for some form of study. He was in the process of releasing a seven foot, bull shark that he had just tagged. The shark looked lethargic and did not appear to be moving out to sea.
When I spoke with the man he claimed to have permission from a city commissioner for this activity. When I told him of my concern with his bright spotlight he knew nothing of the Turtle Watch activities. He assured me he would “help the hatchlings to the water with his light if he saw any.” UGH! That is not what anyone should be doing to “help” hatchlings! (using artificial lights disorients hatchlings, attracts predator fish and once the turtles hit the water they will come back out and go to any beach lights that were originally attracting them) Obviously he knew nothing about sea turtles.
Subsequently, in that week’s island newspaper there was an article about a dead, tagged, seven foot shark found on the beach at the exact spot the very next morning. THEN, the following week’s paper had a letter to the editor about what sounded like the same shark. This person stated he found a dead shark (same day, same size with a tag) He called the number on the tag and to quote this gentleman,
“I called (phone # on tag) and they said they didn’t want anything to do with it.”
(AMI Sun, August 18, 2010, pg 6)
In the meantime I had been in (email) contact with the alleged ‘researcher’ and was told by him that he had sent this shark to Mote Marine. I thought it could have been possible (not probable) that we were dealing with more than one shark.
I gave him the benefit of doubt and called Mote Marine to confirm his claim. Mote responded by informing me they had received such shark via the Bradenton Police Dept. not any research organization and had determined the cause of death was due to the trauma of being tagged. Mote Marine was very upset to learn this type of activity was being conducted by this alleged ‘researcher’ of which they knew nothing about.
I am not sure what this researcher’s game is but he appears to be skirting officials, giving out false information and killing precious sea life. I am making a plea to all island residents and visitors; if you see any type of questionable ‘research’ activity on the beach please call the local authorities. Help protect and preserve your beautiful island ecosystem!
C. Green
Holmes Beach

6: "Dumois Tragedy" by: rcoryn

@ 09:53:20 am on August 24, 2010.

I can't believe that I am the first person to comment on this article. I know the Dumois Family from my church and am concerned that no one has solved this mystery after all these years. There was even an eye witness. Why didn't the police look into the claim that it was a "hit"?Why would anyone want to kill this family?

7: "Prevention" by: sgcox003681

@ 09:49:04 am on August 24, 2010.

Having been an ocean swimmer all my life (grew up in San Diego,CA)I would strongly recommend an additional small lifeguard tower in the northern section of the island, also a couple of solar power emergence phones along the beaches and NEVER lessen your staffing to the lifeguards, the beachgoers are a large portion of the $$$ received by the Manatee County and should lifeguards should remain strong.

8: "Drownings" by: property9

@ 09:39:38 am on August 24, 2010.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the drowning victims. However as a long time resident of Anna Maria Island, isn't Bean Point a dangerous place to swim? If I remember correctly the NO SWIMMING signs are prevalent on the beach and common sense dictates that where the Gulf meets the Bay and one can see the current ripping through that maybe one should not not go swimming? It used to be illegal to swim on the point. It's always dangerous.

9: "Art brawl" by: bjf08056

@ 09:37:28 am on August 24, 2010.

What a great idea, it's just what the doctor ordered! My husband and I own a house in Holmes Beach, with some luck we'll be moving down full time within 5 years, by then i hope your brainchild will be fully mature and we can become a part of it. It's just what the island needed, thanks!

10: "Deadly" by: Ed

@ 02:12:15 pm on August 16, 2010.

There can be no doubt that Mother Nature can be deadly. The headlines of death resulting from rip currents are proof.

It brings us to a sad reflection on AMI waters.

And determination to help spread the word, to educate the public and, possibly, to seek more and better signage — in spite of a resistance to more signs — to warn beachgoers at every public access of the dangers of rip tide.

It seems like every swimming class for youngsters should include a lesson on how to deal with rip currents — how to react to survive a sudden riptide while in the water and how to help someone else overcome the same situation.

One survivor of a rip current at Bean Point in 2003 told The Islander: “I sat down in shallow water and the current carried me out like an arrow. I was very scared, then came my angel.” He was lucky a clear-headed strong swimmer came to his rescue. Both were exhausted and unable to stand from the struggle against the current.

But carried out “like an arrow,” well, that’s just scary.

In 2005, a 38-year-old man visiting from Puerto Rico nearly drowned while swimming in the waters off Egmont Key. He was underwater for nearly two minutes before he was pulled ashore, where bystanders administered CPR to no avail.

A quick dip in the water soon turned fatal for a man who drowned off Bean Point in 2003 when swift currents swept him away from his uncle’s boat. The 32-year-old Sarasota resident had grown up in Holmes Beach and was considered an accomplished swimmer.

His uncle was unable to restart the boat engine and quickly called for help. An armada looked for the man for more than two hours before he was found dead.

Another man swimming north of the Manatee Public Beach just as strong west winds kicked up a heavy surf.

A quick-thinking 12-year-old girl grabbed a boogie board and reached him, but was unable to get him to shore when another beachgoer swam about 60 yards into the Gulf and pulled the man to shore, although not soon enough.

It’s all a lesson for us to learn how to react to a riptide or rip current, because that’s the environment we live in and we all should enjoy it to its fullest — and safely.

Know how to swim. Never swim alone. If in doubt, don’t go out.

11: "What do you think?" by: Ed

@ 12:32:56 pm on August 9, 2010.

The oil leak is capped, no more oil is leaking in the Gulf of Mexico, and the emergency is now in recovery mode.

What do you think? The oil never made it here. Fishing is good. The beach is good. In fact, snook are making a comeback from the winter kill. It’s like nothing ever happened.

Can you honestly say tourism is down? Are we doing enough to dispute the effect of the oil spill?

How about that “drill baby, drill” campaign. How’s that working now? Are we ready to let BP and the other oil companies go back to business as usual in the Gulf of Mexico? What will you think if BP taps another source and starts collecting oil and earning dollars from a new Deepwater Horizon site?

And don’t let’s forget that 11 lives were lost on BP’s well platform. Will we allow them to keep pumping at such a great risk to lives and the vast and sensitive environment of the Gulf?

What will happen to the lost jobs and businesses — the lives and families suffering with no income? What will BP do to help the families of those people killed on the rig? What will happen in the next big disaster if the oil company can’t sustain the loss?

Will BP continue to make profits at the gas pump that provide for the necessary environmental and economic recovery?

We liked the answers we heard to John Dickerson’s questions this week on CBS news “Face the Nation.”

He was asked, “If you had to give BP a final grade on their performance, what would you — what would you say?”

Retired Admiral Thad Allen, U.S. Coast Guard, Pres. Barack Obama’s point man in charge of the government’s response to the Gulf oil spill had this say:

“At the wellhead, I think they've done very well. What they are not good at and that has not been part of their corporate competency or capacity in the past is one-on-one transactions with individual citizens. And I think that's where the biggest gap of performance has been and where the most improvement needs to take place.”

What do you think? Let’s tell them.

Send your thoughts to, or comment on the “opinions” page on our website,, and we’ll pass the message on to BP.

12: "Question" by: nick

@ 11:39:19 am on August 2, 2010.

How badly was Barrows harmed? Was he ever looked at. Odd that someone who was so 'dead on' in his killings would leave 1 alive. No pun intended there, but was shotting people in the head, he didn't want them alive, how come Barrows lived.

13: "Holmes Beach City Council to be Commended" by: cwiseman54

@ 04:25:57 pm on July 29, 2010.

As new, full time residents of Holmes Beach my husband and I were interested in attending last week's city council meeting. I have to admit, after reading some of the articles in last week’s local papers regarding how the local city councils have been conducting themselves we were a little concerned as to what we were in store for.

We were pleasantly surprised and extremely impressed with how this council conducted the meeting. The council was professional and courteous. They displayed a wealth of knowledge, experience and compassion for the community they serve. We left feeling confident Holmes Beach is in good hands. More importantly, we feel if we ever need to address the city council they will make us feel comfortable and welcome. Another great reason to live here!!

Claudia and Glenn Wiseman

14: "Letter to the Editor - Abusive Blog" by: suelynn

@ 03:33:42 pm on July 26, 2010.

Following is a statement I made at the City of Anna Maria Commission meeting on July 22, 2010. The Historical Society wants to increase the size of the park using the City property adjacent to it while the Anna Maria Island Historical Trust (AMIHT) would like to see the Anglers’ Lodge placed on the same site. After Sissy Quinn, President of AMIHT, made a presentation at the July 8, 2010 Commission work session, she was the subject of a cruel assault posted on As a result, she withdrew the request to place the Anglers’ Lodge on the City site.

NOTE: The statement below has been edited from the original for publication.

It is a sad situation when an individual cannot speak out at a Commission meeting and fight for what she believes in without being made the subject of a mean-spirited, hateful diatribe on a blog that has turned a “difference of opinion” into a personal attack. This is the kind of character assassination that says more about the character of the people who write and disseminate it than the individuals they choose to denigrate. These people build up their own self-esteem by ripping apart another individual. In this case, while hiding behind a blogsite that protects them from having to face the person they are attacking.

No wonder there have been reports that people are afraid to sign petitions and speak out for what they believe in. I can tell you (Commissioners) that you are not hearing from a number of your constituents because this City’s citizens are currently not able to function as if they were living in a democratic system. Rather their freedoms are being oppressed by the “tyranny of a minority” that sets themselves up as judge and jury in terms of what you can and cannot believe and publicly support in this City. If you do not support their cause, then you may be harassed or become the object of another vicious rant on the blog.

I suppose the individual who wrote this tirade and the people who distributed it feel smug that they won as a result of the AMIPT’s withdrawal from having the Anglers’ Lodge placed on City property. As far as I am concerned, they should be embarrassed, ashamed and apologize for the malicious attack that has been made against a woman who simply wanted to preserve a piece of Island history and put it on a site where it could be available to the City and the public for their use and enjoyment.

Submitted by:
July 23, 2010

15: "Island Rocker's" by: ocean58

@ 11:13:18 am on July 24, 2010.

The kids are an example how are our future can be such a positive one and giving to others. God Bless them:)

16: "Recall election" by: steviefiles

@ 04:53:40 pm on July 23, 2010.

Your view: An election should not be held in September when many residents are away.
In any case, Mr. Stoltzfus should not be recalled. His election was valid and represented the views of the majority who voted for him.

17: "News alert: Oil-free guarantee" by: bonner

@ 01:49:57 pm on July 19, 2010.

Someone alert the worldwide media to the fact that not all of Florida is devastated by the oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

They’re killing us.

Send them a map with a big green pin on Tampa Bay and Anna Maria Island, just a smidgen to the south, along with a screaming, bright sticky note that says, “NO OIL.”

BP’s spilling oil, and hurrah for stopping the leak. But CNN is white-washing us in calamity.

It is costing every manner of business here a loss of revenue every time it broadcasts the broadest-possible oil swath in the Gulf of Mexico without saying — Hey, it’s not affecting the entire Gulf!

I didn’t realize how pervasive the problem was until I met a gentleman who came here to see if there’s anything remaining of the beach communities and the real estate market in Manatee County. He and his friends in Brampton, Ontario, also Florida property owners, were convinced they’d have to sell, take a great loss and move on.

This man and his family got in a cab at the airport and immediately asked the driver, How bad is the oil here? They were shocked to hear: There’s no oil here.

They were in such disbelief, led to their worst fears by “steady reports on CNN, especially Anderson Cooper,” he said, that they immediately went to the beach to be sure.

Yep. No oil. And there hasn’t been any oil in our near or distant waters — not for more than 340 miles. No oily birds. No tar balls. No sheen on the water.

But we surely are painted with the broadest possible oily brush.

Now we’re not saying to put a happy face on the news broadcasters, but somehow responsible news media need to isolate the problem — it’s a very large Gulf — and be clear and specific about the areas affected by the oil spill.

It may be the worst-ever environmental disaster for the United States, but our beaches are no more affected by the oil in the Gulf than the Chicago lakefront or Long Island’s shoreline. Except economically.

And that wouldn’t likely be the case if there were clarity in the news.

The world needs to know this part of the Gulf of Mexico is not covered with oil.

We guarantee it — no oil on Anna Maria Island.

Bonner Joy, Holmes Beach, Fla.

18: "The Beaches" by: msshippey

@ 08:53:40 am on July 12, 2010.


We returned from Anna Maria Island to the UK on 28th June 2010 after three weeks on the island. We have stayed on the island about a dozen times since 1992 and will carry on coming back as long as we are able. We were upset to hear the news keep mentioning the oil leak as it does not affect Anna Maria Island and most of the the Gulf Coast of Florida and felt it was doing a lot of damage to the tourist industry and the housing market. We would like to impress on anyone wanting to visit the area that the water and beaches are clean (I swam in the gulf) and to keep on visiting the area.

We hope to be back next year.
Best wishes
Margaret Shippey

19: "Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus" by: vintagelady10

@ 11:55:17 am on July 6, 2010.

In spite of a disinformation campaign by Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus encouraging locals to boycott us, businesses at Pine and Crescent are enjoying good local support. In fact, Kelly Kary reports a surge in sales at the Anna Maria Olive Oil Outpost after reports of harassment by Commissioner Stoltzfus caused angry citizens to respond.

Kary said that, while she has been very pleased with the reception that the locals in Anna Maria have shown her to date, "the most interesting thing is the number of people who have come through our door since the story came out, and have told me that they are very happy that my husband and I have chosen to open a small retail business here and that they intend to shop here."

I have had the same experience at my shop “Pine Avenue Timeless Treasures”. Stoltzfus told me that I should move my business out of town, and that locals would never support me as long as I did business with PAR. Contrary to Commissioner Stoltzfus remarks, my business has enjoyed great local support. I find that people are glad we are here and they love to see what is happening with the project. The other businesses (Front Porch Salon, Island Podiatry, AMI Rentals and The Olive Oil Outpost) all work together to make things better and look forward to what Lizzy and Mike Thrasher have planned for the Green Historic Village project as well. I don't know why Commissioner Stoltzfus wants to see retail banned from our city, but he sure seems intent on stopping new business in the business district by any means possible. These are small businesses that fit in very well in our community.

Perhaps Mr. Stoltzfus has not looked up lately, and seen the terrible decline in jobs and commerce that our bay area is going through these days.. Most of us who work to make a living in these buildings are local residents with mouths to feed. Every time someone shops here that’s one less car travelling to Holmes Beach or further. I knew after my long conversation with the Mr. Stoltzfus that I was not going to change his mind. I am just very thankful that his view does not reflect more than a small minority of local residents and that our City Commission is now moving forward in a positive direction to ensure that we have the best design possible for our very small business district. We need a more walkable street, with shade trees and wider sidewalks closer to the buildings so that we don't have to back out over them. Mr Stoltzfus maintained all along that his issue was safety. After my conversation with him and his strong opposition to Mr. Quam’s new parking plan it’s clear his agenda is really nothing to do with safety and everything to do with driving business off of Anna Maria.

As we celebrate the season of Freedom and Independence in our little piece of paradise, I am thankful for the support of my community and that I am free to operate my business and provide for my family. Thanks to everyone who supports and frequents our local businesses.

Tammy Anzalone
Timeless Treasures

20: "truck accident" by: stmgenerator1

@ 06:42:41 am on July 6, 2010.

Apparently asimpson has not lived long on the island, as there have been many accidents on both bridges. Like all island roads, ALL DRIVERS need to be watching the road, not just "the tourists" as implicated. We were hit on the bridge when it was still a toll bridge.



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